Match Day 20 recorded the highest turn out of fans voting in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) VAT Wonder Goal with a combined total of 5400 voting on the twitter handle and the website. For the first time, the votes on the website topped those of the twitter and it was Rangers International’s Tope Olusesi who drew the highest crowd with 3621 votes to beat Ikechukwu Nwani to second place.
Nwani of Nasarawa United trailed Olusesi on both polls but went quite close on twitter where he polled 118 to the winner’s 121. The total for Nwani came to 1537 votes. The Rangers man had landslide on the website with over 67 percent of the votes given him 3500 votes to Nwani’s 1419, about 29 percent.
Nyima Nwagua of Kano Pillars finished in third place with combined votes of 155 ahead of Chidi Nwachukwu of Rivers United whose total came to 87 votes.
“This is a major turning point for the online polls”, remarked Niyi Oyeleke, Production Manager at SuperSports. “It demonstrates that interest is not only rising on the league but also on the VAT Wonder Goal offering. It is a milestone to be built on in growing followership for the league and can help in marketing the league through data mining if the profile of the voters can be obtained”.
Olusesi thus becomes the second Rangers International player to win the award this season and his win comes directly after his team mate, Kelvin Itoya was voted VAT Wonder Goal winner for Match Day 19.
His goal drew Rangers level in a 1-1 draw with Wikki Tourists and came off a wave of counter offensive after Wikki Tourists lost the ball in Rangers half and left wing back, Isaac Loute located Olusesi who made a perfect control inside the box to calmly hit a volley despite being put under pressure by a defender.
The VAT Wonder Goal was introduced in the NPFL by the League Management Company (LMC) and is supported by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) to strengthen club and community engagement and also create awareness for tax payment within the football community.
Olusesi will be presented his prize at a ceremony to hold during a Rangers home fixture at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu. The prize money of N150,000 will be shared equally between the player and a charity based in Enugu that he will nominate.
Others who have won the award so far this season include the duo of Rivers United’s Emeka Ogbugh and Sochima Elum, Sunshine Stars’ Sikiru Alimi and Sikiru Olatunbosun of MFM FC.